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Tibetan Coinage IV

The Miscellaneous Tangkas





The below information is a description from the book "An Overview of China's Gold and Silver Coins of Past Ages - the Gold and Silver coins and Medals of Modern China" by Mr. Dong Wenchao. (p158, ISBN: 962-531-0001-0)

The coin was a minted metal currency of Tibet minted in 1886 or the 12th year of the reign of Emperor Guang Xu of the Qing Dynasty. [I think the date should be 1896 or the 22nd year of the reign of Emperor Guang Xu of the Qing Dynasty. ykl] It was an imitation of the Nepal silver coin which was once widely circulated. The decorative motifs on both sides are different from the general metal currencies of the Tibetan local government, with the year of issue "30th year of 15th Jiazi by the Tibetan calendar" in the Tibetan language inscribed on the reverse side.



Issue Date : 1896 or Cycle 15 Year 30 by the Tibetan calendar
By courtesy of Mr. YZM




Additional comment

I received two commentaries about these types of tangka coin from two very advance experts of Tibetan coinage, Mr. Scott Semans and Mr. Lohan. I appreciate their helps very much. If you want to share your knowledge and enthusism in Tibetan numismatics, feel free to contact me please.

I have placed below the two commentaries which are self-explained. Thanks indeed to Mr. Scott Semans and Mr. Lohan.



Probably the best information that is known comes from Krause-Mishler, 19th Century volume, 3rd edition, p.1609:

"The legend of this Rajana Tangka appears to be in ornamental Lansa script and has yet to be deciphered. The type is a copy of the Nepalese debased Tangka of Pretop Simha. Although struck unoficially, probably by Nepalese traders in Tibet between 1880 and 1912, it was legal tender, due to an edict issued in 1881 ordering that no distinction be made betrween false and genuine coins.
The Tangka, C#27 was cut in parts of 3, 4, and 5 petals to make change and the resulting fractions are occasionally encoutered."
The listing shows many false dates due to illiterate engravers, and mentions metal as billon, varying from 3.9 to 4.7 gram, further supporting that it was a private issue which gained legal sanction.


Dear Y K Leung,

Hello, thank you for the compliment. I do not know if I am a Tibet expert, but I am very interested in Tibet Numismatics. The 2 coins that you have, are listed under "Tibet" in the "Miscellaneous Tangkas" section of the Krause Catalog (20th. Century coins), as C#27. These coins are not high quality silver, they are of billion type (low percentage of silver).

There are 4 accepted dates, (15-28, 15-30, 15-40, 15-46). (15-28 and 15-40) are the commonest dates, with 15-46 being the rarest. The legend appears to be ornamental Lansa script and has yet to be deciphered. The type is a copy of the Nepalese issue; 'Cho-Tang'. Although struck unofficially, they were fairly accepted as legal tender, due to an edict issued by China in 1881, ordering that no distinction be made between false and genuine coins. This type of coin was cut up to make change, and the resulting fractions are occasionally encountered, (3/4 tangka, 1/2 tangka, 1/3 tangka).

Your 15-40 dated coin, or "1906" our calendar year, is one of the commoner years. Even though they were part of the Tibet coin system, because they were not actually officially struck, it is difficult to realise catalog prices for these coins. But, I still find them interesting. I feel that these coins are part of the coin history of Tibet. In Tibet, at the time, there was a big need for coinage, and even though these coins were mass produced outside of the mints, they still helped to alleviate some of the problem for this remote country.

Your second coin dated 16-?2, is probably a very crude 16-92, or possibly 16-72. Besides the 4 before mentioned accepted dates, there are many crude meaningless dates, (13-16, 13-31, 13-92, 16-16, 16-61, 16-92, 92-39, 96-61, etc.). Your second coin would be one of this type.








Marks of Rareness of the Collected Currencies
Extremely Rare A ~ Very Rare B ~ Rare C ~ Not So Many D ~ Common E

The Miscellaneous Tangkas

Description

Coin No.:0377
Diameter : 26 mm.
Weight : 4.7g
Rareness : B
Dates : Cycle 15 Year 40
Fineness :80%
Obverse :
Reverse :
Coin No.:0378
Diameter : 27 mm.
Weight : 4.5g
Rareness : B
Dates : Cycle 16 Year ?2
Fineness :80%
Obverse :
Reverse :



More comment (Information about the same type coin)

The below information got from the book "The Currency of Tibet" by Mr. Wolfgang Bertsch, p34.

This coin exists inscribed with many different dates, some of which seem to have no specific meaning. It is the only Tibetan coin showing Lantsa script on both sides and it is believed to have been struck by Newari mechants in Lhasa, possibly with the permission of the Tibetan government. All these coins have moon and sun above the legend on the obverse except for one specimen which has moon and swastika and is dated 15-46(A.D.1912).




More about Tibetan Coinage
Tibetan Coinage II - The Kong-par Tangka Coins


More about Tibetan Coinage
Szechuan Rupee : the Imitation of Indian Rupee


More about K'ang Ting Rupee
The Red Face Rupee


More about Tibetan Coinage
The Nepalese and Tibetan Coinage in Qing Dynasty


An Unknown Tibitan Item

Some of My Spare Tibetan Coins





    Bibliography

  1. Hsiao Huai Yuan : The History of Tibetan Money
  2. Tibet Branch of the People's Bank of China: China Numismatics 1990.1 No.28
  3. N G Rhodes : The Gaden Tangka of Tibet, Oriental Numismatic Society 1983
  4. Oliver D Cresswell : Tibetan Coins by Numismatics International Publication 1977
  5. Dong Wenchao : An Overview of China's Gold & Silver Coins of Past Ages - the Gold and Silver coins and Medals of Modern China, ISBN: 962-531-0001-0
  6. Chester L. Krause and Clifford Mishler Colin R. Bruce II. : Standard catalog of World Coins 1991, 18th edition.
  7. N G Rhodes, K. Gabrisch & C Valdettaro : The Coinage of Nepal
  8. W. Bertsch : The Currency of Tibet, Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, ISBN: 81-86470-32-8

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Any additional comment would be much appreciated, you can send it to Y K Leung.







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